Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs (on 24-28 October this year – dates vary according to the Indian lunar calendar) has become increasingly popular and mainstream in the UK, as it is in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore where the festive fare reflects local traditions. But beyond a vague notion of "eating Indian" most people outside the subcontinent are unfamiliar with common Diwali foods. So what is eaten during the five-day festival?
The immediate answer is sweets – and plenty of them. Indian sweetmeats, known as "mithai" are a cross between snack, dessert and confectionery. If there's one thing that captures the Indian culinary psyche, it's mithai. Little morsels are nibbled throughout the day, on their own, with masala chai or as part of a meal alongside savoury items.
Chickpea flour, rice flour, semolina, various beans, lentils and grains, squashes, carrots, thickened condensed milk or yoghurt are normally used as base ingredients; to which cashewnuts, almonds, pistachios, chirongi nuts or raisins are added. Fragrant with sweet spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg, they're further blinged up with saffron, rose or kewra (pandan leaf) water, and silver or gold leaf.
While "laddoos", "barfis" and "halwas" like my pumpkin version here are universally popular, some of other items like "mawa kachori", "moti pak" and "sohan papdi" are more regional specialities requiring elaborate preparation. It's customary to exchange extravagantly decorated boxes of mithai, dried fruit, nuts or silver serving dishes with family and friends.
Around a month before the festival starts, women, especially of my mother and grandmother's generations, get together in each other's kitchens in turn to make the all-important Diwali snacks. Snack-making is very much a social activity, with older women turning out a dozen or more items and young people keeping the tradition alive by making at least a few.
Diwali snacks, made from chickpeas, rice, lentil and several other varieties of flours, are seasoned with different combination of spices, sesame seeds, fresh fenugreek leaves or coconut, pummelled into assorted shapes and usually deep-fried – though nowadays both mithai and snacks are available in low-fat, low-sugar and baked versions. It's common for family and friends to drop around to each other's houses with boxes of homemade snacks.
Festive specialities include Bombay-mix like "chivda", with countless variations (each with a different name – I spotted "London mix" in a supermarket the other day), diamond-shaped "shakkarpara", noodle-like "sev", sweet, layered deep-fried discs "chirote", and a range of sweet and savoury "puris" from puffed ones that look like UFOs, to ones dented with the back of a thin rolling pin that resemble the surface of the moon.
My favourite snacks are nutty lentil flour discs called "mathiya", pretty spirals of "chakri", and crescent moon shaped pasties known as "ghughra" or "karanji". You can buy both mithai and Diwali snacks from Ambala, Royal and other Indian sweet shops around the country. If you've never tried them before, don't be afraid to give them a go. Ask for small tasters before you buy; most shops will be happy to oblige.
Different speciality meals are traditionally cooked on different days of the festival, and these vary further depending on region. Generally speaking puris, traditionally deep-fried in expensive ghee and therefore rich in every sense, replace flatbreads; and are accompanied by a different dal, vegetable curry, fried titbits such as pakoras, collectively known as "namkeen" or "farsan", and a pudding on each day of the festival. Many, though not all, Indians continue to eat vegetarian at this time of year.
On the first day (October 24), associated with wealth, large-grain cracked wheat sautéed with ghee and sugar known as "lapsi" is very popular, and may be accompanied by a curry of yard-long beans which, due to their length, symbolise longevity. On the second day (October 25), associated with the elimination of evil spirits, specialities include anarasa, a rice-and-jaggery dish that can take up to seven days to prepare. Light, fluffy urad lentil pakoras are eaten alongside the milky rice pudding, kheer.
Some festive dishes from around the subcontinent on Diwali day (October 26) include curry of courgette-like squash "galaka", "ukkarai", a steamed dish of split chickpea and moong bean batter; "sheera", a fudgy sweet of semolina sautéed with raisins, cashewnuts, cardamom and saffron like my banana version here, steamed fine-grain cracked wheat porridge dolloped with ghee and sugar known as "kansar", crumbly doughnuts "balushahi", and sweet flatbreads stuffed with mashed pigeon peas, saffron and cardamom called "poli".
On New Year's Day (October 27), "puris" may be partnered with "shrikhand", a chilled pudding made from home-made yoghurt cheese; and mixed vegetable curries made with as many varieties of vegetables as possible, as this symbolises year-round culinary riches. The day after the New Year (October 28) is a celebration of the bond between brothers and sisters. Women spend the entire day in the kitchen, making their brothers' favourite dishes and sweets, and are presented with lavish gifts in return.
Diwali is a vibrant, colourful, joyous celebration expressed through the medium of food. Cooks find their creative spark with a side helping of therapeutic "me time" in the kitchen, jaded palates perk up and family and friends come together to eat. What could be more important?
We have provided short paragraphs on Diwali festival in order to help students as they generally get assigned to write some paragraphs in the classroom. All the paragraphs are written using very simple words under various words limits according to the need and requirement of the students. Paragraph writing competition is generally organized by the class teacher anytime in order to check student’s skill and knowledge about the subject.
Paragraphs on Diwali
Diwali Paragraph 1
Diwali is a Hindu festival celebrated every year as a festival of lights. It is very significant festival for the people of Hindu religion. Everyone becomes very happy on the occurrence of this festival and celebrates with lots of preparations. Diwali is a five days long festival begins from Dhanteras and ends at Bhai dooj. It falls every year on fifteenth day of the Kartik month.
People start cleaning their houses few days before the main date of Diwali such as white washing, dusting, painting, etc. Houses get decorated using real or artificial flowers and other decorative materials. Everywhere looks very dazzling because of the lighting small earthen lamps and electric bulbs. It is considered that Goddess Lakshmi makes a visit to each houses in the night of Diwali that’s why everyone lights their houses to welcome the Goddess. In return, Goddess gives her blessings to her devotees for healthy and prosperous life. At this day, everyone performs puja of Goddess Lakshmi and God Ganesha and then distributes gifts and sweets to their friends, neighbors and relatives.
Diwali Paragraph 2
Diwali is one of the most favorite festival of everyone. It is a most enjoyable, sacred and loveliest festival in the Hindu religion. It is celebrated every year all through the country as well as abroad (by the Indian people) with great joy and enthusiasm. Everyone (especially kids) waits for this festival with much keen. This festival is celebrated from the ancient time to mark the happy return of lord Rama with his wife and brother to his Kingdom (Ayodhya) after long fourteen years of exile.
It is a five days long festival of lights and festivities, falls every year twenty days after Dussehra. It make us feel the advent of winter season. It brings lots of charms and delight in our life. Diwali is also known as Deepawali because we make a row or collection of many lamps out the home. People start festival preparations few days before the main date such as cleaning of houses, white washing of buildings, decorations, buy toys, gifts, flowers and other necessary things for festival. At this day people become very happy and distribute gifts to each other.
Diwali Paragraph 3
Diwali is an important festival for the people of Hindu religion. Everyone waits for this festival with eager in order to get lots of fun and pleasure while lighting candles and clay diyas in the night. We should be conscious of celebrating this festival without any harm to the public as well as environment. We should know that the crackers we burn on diwali is very disadvantageous to the health of people and environment. High pitch sound making crackers are enough to disturb human mind and balance of atmosphere. Some fire-rockets go very high in the sky which create the fear of fire if used in the residential colonies.
So, we should celebrate safe and happy diwali without crackers and other harmful materials in order to keep ourselves healthy and natural cycle in balance. It is the festival of lights and cleanliness, not the festival of firecrackers. It is the festival to worship Goddess Laxmi, not the festival to make anyone sorrow through the fire-rockets.
Diwali Paragraph 4
Diwali is everyone’s favorite festival. It is well known as the festival of lights and celebrated in all the parts of our country. It is also celebrated in the abroad by the Indian people with great enthusiasm. Few days before the festival, people start cleaning, whitewashing and decorating their houses and shops. In the night of Diwali, people lit lots of clay lamps or candles all around the houses and offices. Everywhere (villages, towns and cities) looks dazzling because of earthen lamps, candles and electric bulbs. Kids of the houses becomes very happy by wearing new clothes and distributing gifts among their friends, neighbors and relatives. In the night, all the family members worship (of Goddess Laxmi and God Ganesha) together and take blessings of the elders of the family.
Diwali Paragraph 5
Diwali festival is celebrated every year in the honor of Goddess Lakshmi. There are various myths for celebrating this festival. Diwali is celebrated by the Hindu people with honor and devotion. Variety of sweet dishes and other delicious dishes are prepared in the houses. In the evening at 6 pm we decorate our houses with candles, earthen lamps, electric bulbs, flowers to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi. Everyone gets prepared in the night after 8 pm for the worship of Goddess Lakshmi and God Ganesha. We pray to the Goddess by offering flowers, sweet and agarbati to get blessings for prosperous and happy life. All the family members, friends and relatives get together at one place to add more joy to this festival.
Diwali night becomes full of crackers, noise and smoke however it is not safe for our health and natural environment. It creates toxic substances which gets intermingled into the fresh air and make environment polluted. We should take a pledge this Diwali to celebrate our further Diwali festival in safe and secure manner.
Diwali Paragraph 6
Diwali festival is popularly known as Deepavali in some parts of the country. It is also a festival of cleanliness and lights because we do cleanliness some days before the festival date and lit lamps in huge number in the night of Diwali. We get very excited for new dresses and delicious foods on this festival. There are various historical significance of celebrating this festival such as birth of Goddess Lakshmi from the churning ocean, returning of Lord Rama to his kingdom after axile, achievement of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira, victory of goodness over evil demon Narakasura, homecoming of Pandavas after exile, Marwari New Year, and other stories.
It is a five days long festival celebrated with great enthusiasm and lots of preparations. We take blessings from the elder family members by touching their feet as it is our culture and tradition. We enjoy a lot in the night after worship as we burst crackers and fireworks and eat sweets and delicious dinner. At this occasion, many people start their business and new work.
Diwali Paragraph 7
Diwali is the festival of lights falls every year in the month of October or November. And, according to the Hindu calendar, it falls in the month of Ashwin. Diwali is also known as Deepawali in some regions of the country because we lit row of diyas or candle in the night of festival. People decorate their house, office, and street with the earthen lamps, diyas or electric lights on the day of Diwali. It is a five days long festival start from Dhanteras and ends on Bhaiduj. There becomes huge rush in the market from few weeks before the main date of festival because people start buying clothes, jewellery, silver or gold coins, decorative things, electric bulbs, firecrackers, things related to food items, idols of Ganesha and Lakshmi, etc.
Diwali Paragraph 8
Diwali is a most popular festival in India, celebrated every year by the people of Hindu religion with great enthusiasm. The significance of celebrating this festival is to celebrate the returning of Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile as well as birth of Goddess Lakshmi from the churning ocean. We worship goddess Lakshmi and God Ganesha to get prosperous and wealthy life and wisdom. On the night of Diwali, we lit diays for whole night to welcome the goddess and get blessings for whole year. All the family members get together at one place, do worship and pray to goddess. We clean, white wash and decorate our house to make it more beautiful and dazzling. In the night after puja, we get involved in lighting the lamps and fire crackers. Whole environment becomes full of high pitch noise and smokes of the firecrackers.
Diwali Paragraph 9
Diwali is a festival of lights, cleaning, worship, and gathering of family members and relatives. We share gifts and meet each other on the day of diwali. At this day, on one keeps bad feelings to anyone and meet everyone. This festival has many religious and mythological significance behind celebrating it. It falls every year in the month of October or early November and indicates the start of winter season. It is celebrated by the Hindu people all over India and abroad.
It marks the victory of goodness over badness means victory of good power over evil power. We greet each other a very happy diwali with gift packs and sweets. It is also celebrated by the people of Jain religion because on the same day, Mahavira had achieved moksha or nirvana in the 527 BCE. Arya Samajists celebrate Diwali as a Death Anniversary of the Swami Dayanand Saraswati. This festival keeps everyone close that’s why called as festival of love, brotherhood and friendship.
Diwali Paragraph 10
Diwali is a Hindu festival, popularly known as festival of lights. It is celebrated to symbolize the victory of goodness over evil power. It is the day when Lord Ram returned to his kingdom after many years of exile. In the happiness of his returning, the people of Ayodhya lighted the lamps everywhere. We buy new clothes, gifts and sweets to distribute among our neighbors, relatives, friends and family members. We also distribute gifts and sweets among poor people of the colony. Our parents buy fire crackers for us which we enjoy in the night after puja.
On the day of diwali Marwari people celebrate their new year however, a day after the Diwali Gujrati people celebrate their new year. I enjoy whole day of Diwali with my friends by playing the harmonium and other music instruments. In the late evening after puja, we take blessings from the elder family members by touching their feet.
Diwali Paragraph 11
Diwali festival is very important festival for the people of Hindu religion. It is the most favorite occasion being celebrated from the ancient time for many reasons. It is celebrated by the Jain people as Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana. It is a special day for the people of Arya Samaj as Maharshi Dayananda achieved his nirvana. It is also a special day for the Gujrati and Marwari people as they celebrate their new year. Sikh people celebrate Diwali as their Red-Letter when they get together and get blessings of their Gurus. The Golden Temple of Amritsar was also established on the day of Diwali in 1577.
Diwali festival has its own religious, cultural, and spiritual significance for Hindus. It brings people close to each other by removing all the problems between them. We honestly follow the culture of touching feet of elders in the family and get blessings for bright future.
Diwali Paragraph 12
Diwali or Deepawali is a festival when we lit lots of earthen lamps or electric bulbs. It is generally celebrated to commemorate the returning of Lord Rama to his kingdom after defeating the demon king Ravan. However, there are some other legends behind celebrating this festival. Diwali festival celebration gives us message of victory of good over evil. We decorate our whole house, town, village and city with the clay diyas, electric bulbs, flowers and other decorative things to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi.
Diwali is a five days long festival, each day named as Dhanteras, Naraka Chaturdashi (or Chhoti Diwali), Lakshmi Puja (or Main Diwali), Bali Pratipada (or Govardhan Puja), and Yama Dwitiya (or Bhaiduj). There is a tradition of buying new things on the day of Dhanteras and distributing gifts and sweets on the day of Diwali. We really enjoy this festival every year and eagerly wait for next year.
Slogans on Diwali